Wood Floor Sanders Explained
Whether you’ve been in business for a day or ten years, you’ve probably considered having your floors redone. Waxing and/or buffing often provide a good shine, but refinishing a floor via a wood floor sander is usually the only way to regain the original richness and beauty of the wood. Plus, it’s a great way to increase the value of your company.
Refinishing is hard work and some people opt to hire a professional. But most of the necessary equipment is available at rental centers and the steps are pretty straightforward. Floor sanding can be done by hand, but electric sanders are mostly used today. These machines are usually available from rental agencies and some paint stores and home centers.
According to Do It Yourself, wood floor sander machines are either the drum type or disk type (floor polisher). With drum sanders the sandpaper is mounted on a cylindrical drum that rotates on an axis parallel to the plane of the floor. The sandpaper makes its scratches in straight lines in the direction of movement of the machine. With disk sanders the sandpaper is mounted on a disk that rotates in a circle in the plane of the floor. As a disk sander is moved over the floor, the grits make spiral scratches that necessarily cross the grain of the wood. A drum sander, however, cannot reach the last few inches of floor nearest the baseboard. Electric edgers, which are small disk sanders, are available for sanding these edges of the floor, or they may be done by hand.
It’s important to note that you will need more than just the wood floor sander itself to perform this task. The three basic pieces of equipment are the drum sander, vibrating sander and the edge sander. Other things needed include wide brooms, heavy and light sandpaper, gloves, rollers with long handle, floor wax or polyurethane finish, brushes, dust masks, wood stain, a dozen or so rags, floor sanders and edger, and shop vacuums.
The Random Orbital Sander is the most common type of wood floor sander used. The “orbital” part of the name comes from the action of the sanding disk. The Black & Decker Mouse is probably the most notable example of a random orbital sander. Besides floors, you can also use this type of wood sander for fine projects, chairs, tables, or trim and baseboards.